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Social Media and Personal Injury Lawsuits

Social Media and Personal Injury Cases

Social Media and Personal Injury Lawsuits

Social Media and Personal Injury Cases

Before Facebook, Instagram, and smartphones, insurance companies and their attorneys hire private investigators to tail personal injury claimants. The investigators will video record just about any physical activity the plaintiff is doing. The goal is to produce a surveillance video that will supposedly show the accident victim doing an activity he or she cannot do since the accident.

Social media, however, have made surveillance videos less necessary. Use of social media is not limited to teenagers and millennials. A recent study shown that more than half of the world now uses social media. Another study shows that 7 out of 10 Americans use social media. Among Facebook users, nearly 75% visit it once a day. Proliferation of “status updates” and “check ins” at places around town have made people’s lives ever so more public than before. A simple Internet search can reveal photos and a person’s activities. The activity could be innocent, such as smiling during a dinner at a restaurant. But the defense attorney can find a way to use it against a personal injury plaintiff. Photos and posts can be taken out of context, and this is likely to happen in a personal injury lawsuit.

While more people have engaged the privacy settings on their accounts, studies also show that many others do not. One study shows that only about 45% of people use the privacy settings on all of their social media accounts. Also, those that use the privacy settings, many do not fully understand those settings. Or they intentionally leave some posts public, such as their profile or cover photos.

There are also informal methods for gaining a personal injury claimant’s social media posts. One well known way is to “friend” a party or witness. Attorneys are prohibited by ethical rules from communicating with the opposing party who is represented by a lawyer. Whether an attorney can have someone else “friend” a witness or the plaintiff is still being debated by the courts.

Even though more people use the privacy settings on their social media apps, those privacy settings can be overridden if a personal injury case goes to court. The Stored Communications Act passed in 1986 prohibits websites from disclosing users personal information to non-governmental entities without the user’s consent. So, the defendant cannot subpoena a plaintiff’s postings directly from the social media company. However, the defendant can obtain them directly from the plaintiff.  Typically, through the process of discovery, the insurance defense attorneys request documents in the possession of the claimant that could help the defendants. With increasing regularity, defendants’ requests now include plaintiff’s social media. Some have requested print-outs or downloads. The broadest request we have seen is a request for access to plaintiff’s social media. Defendants have gone so far as to request the passwords for our clients’ social media accounts.

What Does The Law Say About Using Social Media As Evidence In A Personal Injury Lawsuit?

The scope of discovery is broad, and the law allows a defendant to obtain all non-privileged documents that is relevant to the subject matter. Relevant documents do not need to be admissible at trial. Discovery is permitted if the documents requested could reasonably lead to the discovery of admissible information. The Nevada Supreme Court generally requires a plaintiff to disclose his or her medical records of pre-existing conditions relevant to the case.

The rules of discovery do not permit “fishing expeditions.” The Nevada Supreme Court has also declared that “[o]ur discovery rules provide no basis for such an invasion into a litigant’s private affairs merely because redress is sought for personal injury.” Schlatter v. Dist. Ct., 93 Nev. 189, 561 P.2d 1342 (1977). Thus, a defendant is usually unable to request full access to a personal injury plaintiff’s social media accounts or to request all of a plaintiff’s posts. A defendant may have a better chance of requesting specific posts that are relevant to a claim or defense in the personal injury lawsuit.

In summary, a person with a personal injury claim should watch what they post on their social media. Personal injury lawyers often advise their clients to refrain from posting on social media at all. While this may be impractical in world where people maintain social relationships online, it may be the best way to prevent an insurance company or its defense attorneys to use an injury victims social media posts against them. A good personal injury attorney will ask to review a client’s social media to prepare the client’s case.

If you or a loved one have been injured a car accident or any other accident, speak to an experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney at D.R. Patti & Associates. Our accident lawyers in Las Vegas are skilled in all aspects of personal injury cases.

Sources:

Simon Kemp, “Digital 2020: July Global Statshot,” Datareportal.

“Social Media Fact Sheet,” Pew Research Center, at https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/social-media/.

John Gramlich, “10 facts about Americans and Facebook,” Pew Research Center, at https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/05/16/facts-about-americans-and-facebook/.

Emma W. Sholl, “Exhibit Facebook: The Discoverability and Admissibility of Social Media Evidence,” 16 Tulane Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property 207 (2013).



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I am so grateful for my attorney Marc Naron for helping me get amazing medical care after my car accident. The whole team was attentive, compassionate and well organized to handle the whole process with the insurance claims. Throughout the lengthy process, my questions and concerns were answered promptly and respectfully. I highly recommend Marc Naron!

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I was in a very bad hit and ran auto accident I reached out to D.R Patti & Associates and they helped me every step of the way. The entire staff was knowledgeable so I was never left wondering whats next. The team of Attorneys help me locate the best medical professionals to assist me with my medical needs. Furthermore the team of Attorneys informed me of the entire process and prepared me on what to expect , which I loved. D.R Patti & Associates negotiated the best recovery for me and I’m elated. D.R Patti & Associates helped me receive 5 hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00) I am still in shock on what all they have done for me. I will continue to recommend D.R Patti & Associates to all my family and friends they are the best.

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Excellent Service. Thank you so much. Everything I expected was accomplished. Jazmine Perez was amazing. Everytime I called she greeted me very kindly. I appreciate it all the work that was done for my case.

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Me ayudaron mucho es el 2do casó que me llevan y estoy súper agradecida y contenta con el servicio y la atención que me dieron

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20:22 30 Jul 20

D R Patti & Associates was an excellent Law Form . One of the paralegal’s Jazmine Perez was very helpful since the first day she handled my case. She always made sure I was comfortable with the doctors I was seeing . The attorney Marc Naron helped me throughout the case and gave me great advise. Thank you Jazmine Perez for always checking up on me .

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angel Lisa
22:59 06 Jul 20

Jasmine is wonderful. She handled all the details for my son’s settlement. I am his Power of Attorney and they made it easy to communicate and today pickup his settlement check. I would highly recommend them.

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Yo obtube los servicios de los abogadis d.r.patti y asociados y estoy muy conforme con el servicio que resivi de ellos y su personal muy responsable y amable en especial con una de ellas de nombre jazmine perez siempre dispuesta a escuchar y ayudar en todo lo posible. Gracias por sus servicion abogados d.r. patti y associados😉

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23:13 30 May 20

I was totally pleased with the quality of service from D.R. Patti and Associates. Maria and Jasmine were so personable. If there were questions, they were very quick with the answers. They worked tirelessly on my behalf. I highly recommend them. A plus rating.

Rosetta Dowell
Rosetta Dowell
16:18 22 May 20

When I contacted D.R Patti & Associates I was taken care of beyond my wildest expectations. They arranged for transportation to get me to all my medical appointments. They were thorough in compiling all my records from Doctors, Physical Therapist, and Medical tests. They were able to tap into all possible sources of money. Whenever I called Maria Estanislao promptly return my phone call. It was great working with them during the time that they were handling the case. I was extremely pleased with their performance. There was no trial and the settlement was very fair. If you need a lawyer in a personal injury case I highly recommend D.R. Patti and AssociatesNancy Robey

Robert Robey
Robert Robey
00:23 21 May 20

The most amazing lawyers I have ever had besides the chiropractor visits and doctor visits they did everything else I didn’t have to worry about anything. Also made everything super easy specially with my crazy work schedule. They always kept in touch to see how I was doing treated me like family, one of the associates even came to my house to get me started with my case ! I am VERY satisfied !

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Frida Gastelum
18:21 02 May 20

I been working with Dr Patti and Associates for over a year now on my case out of all the attorneys i have worked with in Las Vegas i have had my satisfaction with this law firm in customer service and knowledgeable staff,they rock! they worked with me with money that i needed to take care of bills while i was injured you guys are awesome keep up the good work!

Kino Phetsomphou
Kino Phetsomphou
19:16 31 Mar 20

I been working with Dr Patti and Associates for over a year now on my case out of all the attorneys i have worked with in Las Vegas i have had my satisfaction with this law firm in customer service and knowledgeable staff,they rock! they worked with me with money that i needed to take care of bills while i was injured you guys are awesome keep up the good work!

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19:01 31 Mar 20
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06:09 18 Mar 20

Highly recommend! I was rear ended back in September (we’re all okay!) As soon as I hired D.R. Patti & Associates the stress of handling insurance the right way was eased! They do all the work for you and even were able to text me which for me, is amazing since I’m always on the go and respond better that way! They always checked up on me to see how I was feeling and never hesitated to answer any and all of my questions! Definitely hire them if you are in the unfortunate event of an accident.

Diana Mena
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20:54 27 Feb 20

I had a very great time with every workers in this company ,everyone was very friendly and responsible, i do really reccomend this place highly ,thank you very much for seeing my case just like yours ,i am very satisfied.

Berry Love
Berry Love
21:06 20 Feb 20

This was the first time I’ve been in a serious accident & I didn’t know what to do. After i was released from the hospital Marc & Jazmine came to my house to get the claim started, making it so convenient for me. They walked me through the process & Jazmine called me often just to check on me & my unborn child, also I was updated on the status of the claim frequently so I didn’t have to guess. The doctors and physical therapist that they recommended was great also. I definitely recommend them & I’ll be seeing them again if I need any help in the future!

Chillette Hall
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23:26 20 Dec 19

Laura & Maria were great , they were super helpful and prompted on my case. I would definitely recommend D R Patti & Associates LLC .

Alan Diniz
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22:11 20 Nov 19

D.R Patti & Associates was very helpful when i was in a car accedent and was able to get a decent settlement back very happy with there service definitely recommend them.

Jessica Norris
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17:29 16 Nov 19

D.R. Patti & Associates did a wonderful job representing me they made sure all my needs were met. They really took care of me while waiting for my settlement.. they helped me with extra money to pay my rent. I will certainly recommend them to anyone who needs representation… thank you so much D.R& associates for everything.. a very special thank you to Jasmine and mark

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18:40 11 Nov 19

I just wanted to thank each and every person at this law firm who worked on my case my case was not an easy case. And thank you so much laura for making me feel important. I will be sending everyone to you guys. Thank you.

Robin Kester
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23:05 04 Nov 19

Best lawyers ever

Phaedra Oliver
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12:14 23 Oct 19

Very satisfied with the firm. Thank you Mark and Laura for all your hard work

Carlton Spraggins
Carlton Spraggins
17:38 21 Oct 19

I was referred by a friend of a friend. I was in a car crash with my 3 year old. Long story short, I was hit from behind causing me to hit the car in front. The lawyer and his paralegal Jazmine Perez came to my home two days later. I told them about the whole case…he decided to take my case. Told me to start physical therapy immediately along with my son. They explained that the therapy will go on the lien. They had my car taken to an auto mechanic..(Its still there) I then get a call after about 3 weeks later from the friend stating that he no longer wanted my case. No explanation from him. I called numerous times but cannot get a call back. I now owe the physical therapy location over $2,000, I have no vehicle..no employment and no representative. Definitely a mistake. I’m now in more debt because of them.

Jasmine Jones-Anderson
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21:11 28 Aug 19
alessandro martini
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23:11 24 Jul 19

Great service, and very professional. Greatest Law firm in Las Vegas by far. Thanks so much D.R. Patti & Associates

Elvonzo Cromwell
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21:13 18 Jun 19

We all know searching for a lawyer to represent us can be a task but it also can be very rewarding, My personal experience with DR Patty and associates, Was an awesome experience.My attorney Marc Naron And his paralegal Lani Domenico Represented me with all of their attorney knowledge, my case was long and lengthy and I can honestly say very annoying due to The person or persons that I was in litigation with ,the help of Mr. Naron & Ms. Domenico… I felt that there was hope for me after all. My case was a little complicated due to the fact that I’m In another workman’s comp case without any hesitation Mr. Naron Took my case and I am so very grateful of the outcome of the whole situation which was very rewarding. With Retrospect I would definitely Check them out if you have a case that you need help with give them a call you will be surprised at how wonderful that firm really is I want to personally thank them for all they’ve done for me without him I wouldn’t have never won my case, So thank you… Miss Owens.

Sharon Owens
Sharon Owens
22:44 12 Jun 19

I’m really happy with everyone that helped with my case. Every single person I came in contact with was so nice and genuinely helpful. Each time I met with the attorney, he made me feel really comfortable and gave me all of the possible information. Thank you everyone!!

Cynthia Lourido
Cynthia Lourido
21:35 23 May 19

Went here due to unforeseen circumstances with my other Attorney. The staff is very friendly and professional. They keep in contact with you informing you what’s going on, you don’t have to call for updates as they will contact you. Overall, this was a great experience and I highly recommend.

Keaton Darby
Keaton Darby
23:11 21 May 19

Thos office actually cares especially Lan8 they ate out standing glad i drop Glen Learner

Robert Diaz
Robert Diaz
19:07 16 May 19

I am really very grateful for the service they gave me, they took my case after presenting problems with my previous lawyer and the result of the process was quick and very satisfactory for me. Additionally I must thank Jazmín who gave me excellent advice and always kept in touch with me to inform me of the progress of my case.

LUIS DARIO QUIAZUA GONZALEZ
LUIS DARIO QUIAZUA GONZALEZ
08:02 08 May 19

I had a good experience with D R Patti and Associates. All the staff I worked with throughout the process were very friendly and was always there to answer any questions or concerns I had. Definitely would recommend them!!

Markina Amore
Markina Amore
18:45 23 Apr 19

Their the best with handling their clients ! Treated me and my cousin like family always .

Dagmawy Tewodros
Dagmawy Tewodros
20:49 16 Apr 19

Best law firm in Las Vegas really good customer service

Yosief Amare
Yosief Amare
23:09 04 Apr 19

5 Star!! Cynthia and the rest of the team are amazing

Jason Gerry
Jason Gerry
23:07 04 Apr 19

Cynthia is amazing. love the law firm that treated me with all the respect and kindness. highly recommend

samir mohamed
samir mohamed
23:03 04 Apr 19

The Entire Team Took Really Great Care Of Me.Definitely Dont Hesitate To Give Them A Call

Jay Berg
Jay Berg
23:03 04 Apr 19

Cynthia is so amazing my experience was wonderful would recommend her to all my friends and family

Jazmin Tenaya
Jazmin Tenaya
22:57 04 Apr 19

Cynathia is so amazing at what she does . Highly recommend this law firm !!!

Jeff Geffrard
Jeff Geffrard
22:55 04 Apr 19

muy profecionaleslo recomiendo al %100

Morir por vivir
Morir por vivir
23:00 27 Mar 19

Cynthia Definitely Is The Best Paralegal I’ve Experienced With, Made Sure I Was Well Taken Care Of On Both Ends.

Ruuub G
Ruuub G
19:40 27 Mar 19

Great place easy access great service kept in good contact with me. Checked up regularly. Highly recommend

Seth Thongsavath
Seth Thongsavath
21:26 18 Mar 19

Got into a car accident and they were so very helpful. Everyone is super nice, positive & make sure to explain everything thoroughly. They seriously are working to do what’s best for you. Cynthia & Tim were awesome. They made everything so easy & I received back more than ever coveted. The level of service & dedication that they provide is amazing. You feel cared for!

Ashley Gee
Ashley Gee
01:06 08 Feb 19

Wasn’t sure how things worked due to that this was my first accident. So Cynthia & Violet explained to me how things work, very professional & everything else is very self explanatory. Tim was also the main one that explained to us how much goes to whom. So it pretty munched helped me a lot to know what goes to who & who gets what. The staff was very friendly also the front desk.

Gokuce Gaming
Gokuce Gaming
01:05 08 Feb 19

I would recommend Cinthya and D.R Patti & Associates , professional team and helped solve my case in a great timely manner!

Manny Salvatore
Manny Salvatore
00:35 31 Jan 19

Good service!

ivonne garcia
ivonne garcia
19:23 22 Dec 18

I would recommend D.R Patti & Associates , professional team and helped solve my case in a great timely manner!

Erick Mejia-Gutierrez
Erick Mejia-Gutierrez
02:04 02 Dec 18
Nabor Pounce
Nabor Pounce
22:49 03 Oct 18

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